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Supreme Court rejects Ohio early voting appeal

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday denied [order, PDF] a stay application [JURIST report] in Husted v. Obama for America [docket], allowing early voting for all Ohio citizens in the three days preceding the November election. The court declined the stay without comment or dissent. After the order, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted [official website] issued a directive [text, PDF], establishing guidelines for voting in Ohio on November 3 through 5. He also released a statement conceding the loss [text]: "[T]he time has come to set aside the issue for this election."

Ohio officials filed an emergency appeal [text, PDF] with the Supreme Court last Tuesday seeking permission to allow enforcement of a regulation [HB 194] that would have ended early voting for everyone except overseas military members three days before election day. Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine filed the request to stay an order by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] which ruled that the early voting polls should remain open [opinion, PDF]. President Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) challenged the law as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause [Cornell LII backgrounder] because of its alleged impact on certain groups of voters. Both Obama for America and the Ohio Attorney General [JURIST reports] filed briefs to the Supreme Court on the issue.

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